2.15 Will there be private property rights in transition to a green social democracy?

Current laws in most if not all capitalist countries already place constraints on the ownership and use of private property. High priority to sustainable use of all resources and to the rights of public access and use of these resources, further constraining private ownership rights, are among the demands of the green social democratic movements of the people. In later stages of transition to a green social democracy, remaining private owners of capital would likely be faced with an expansion and more stringent protection of labor rights. Serious violations of law, including environmental and labor laws, might result in the expropriation of property that has been managed in a manner that contravenes these laws. In other words, other human rights, including the right to resources such as potable water and clean air essential to human life, and the rights of future generations to a healthy, sustaining natural environment would have priority over private property rights.

In order to ensure that all have a necessary minimum of resources upon which to live and in order to reduce waste of resources, the green social democratic political movements and parties are those which work for legislation to reduce opportunities for the accumulation of personal wealth. In particular, the following reform measures serve the transition to a green social democracy:

  • steeper progressive taxation on income beyond the level needed for a dignified existence; and
  • increased estate taxes on amounts of personal use property that greatly exceed the average of such wealth across the population.

At the same time, the increasingly better educated public characteristic of a knowledge based economy will likely leave in private hands both personal use and economic property that has, under capitalism, evidently been used and maintained by its private owners for the use and benefit of the public, that is, when public service and stewardship responsibility are the publicly known motivations of the private owners. The same public is likely to favor charters for its economic enterprises that oblige them to give priority to public aims over personal gain.

On the other hand, it is likely that business owners with a record of abuse of employees and the environment would be given a very short lease indeed by a green social democratic government to demonstrate their commitment to green social democratic economic legislation once adopted. If the evidence is to the contrary, they would likely be expropriated and the management of their assets turned over to their employees, if the latter request this. Again, these are not necessarily proposals; they are logical inferences about the transition to a green social democracy.


This website was launched September 1, 2010 in support of a green social democratic alternative to neoliberal capitalist policy and practice. The primary result is a work by Charles and Karen McFadden of seven chapters, grouped under the title, Towards a Green Social Democratic Alternative to Capitalism available here in pdf and html formats.

Below under the heading What’s New can be found the most recent materials posted on this website, including opinion pieces, book reviews, articles and selections from the 2017 edition of the main work.  For the interest of new and returning visitors, new materials will be included quarterly.

What's New


Authors' Preface

1.6 The epochal nature of the period we are entering

6.0 The socialism we need against the "socialism" of the 20th century

6.8 Additional concerns about 20th century variants of "socialism"

6.9 The people united!

7.1 Policy alternatives and political movements to advance them


Charles and Karen McFadden, Is revolutionary transformation on the agenda

Charles and Karen McFaddenHumanity on the Brink

Charles and Karen McFaddenMovements of Resistance to Movements for System Change

Charles McFaddenTranslating Green Principles into Education Policy and Practice

Charles and Karen McFadden, The Role of Revolutionaries in the Labor Movement


Charles and Karen McFadden, “The Shape of Water” as an Antidote to the Age of Trump 

Charles McFadden, Decolonizing the U.S. & Canada: The People United for a More Just Sustainable Future

Karen and Charles McFaddenCan emergent early 21st century neo-fascism be defeated without coming to grips with late 20th century restructuring of capitalism into a global system

Karen and Charles McFaddenA Dominant Capitalism or a Sustainable Environment? Why we can't have both.


William I. RobinsonThe Crisis of Global Capitalism and Trump's March to War

William I. RobinsonTrumpism, 21st Century Fascism, and the Dictatorship of the Transnational Capitalist Class


George HewisonWINNIPEG 1919 & THE COLD WAR

George HewisonArt Manuel - "Unsettling Canada

George HewisonThe NDP and LEAP


Albert Einstein, David Swanson, Jill Stein, Chris Hedges, William I. Robinson, and others Selected articles for Winter 2018



1.7 The dynamics of capitalism as a system and the limits of single issue reforms

2.11 The economy in transition towards a new deal for labor and the community

3.1 The challenge of a moribund economic system

3.7 Public banking: A cornerstone of a green social democracy

4.7 Economics and culture

6.5 Using the non-market economy as an opportunity to begin moving beyond capitalism


1.6 The epochal nature of the period we are entering

2.0 Theoretical Perspective: Defining Green Social Democracy

2.5. Socialism and green social democracy in historical materialist theory

4.3 Culture in historical perspective

5.1 Contrasting a green social democratic world with the currently prevailing, but challenged neo-liberal one

6.2 Socialism and capitalism as coexisting social systems


2.11 The economy in transition towards a new deal for labor and the community

5.7 Defeating neo-liberal capitalism: The role of social movements

7.3 Justice: Creating a just society, based on the right of all to a dignified, secure existence

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) applies to all work posted on this website except that which appears with authors whose last name is other than McFadden, in which case standard copyright should be assumed to apply.